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Help, I'm desperate! (Leaking Air Mattress)


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04-29-05, 05:24 AM   #1 (permalink)  
john in mo
Help, I'm desperate! (Leaking Air Mattress)

Hi, I know this doesn't completely fit here, but there's no "miscellaneous" category and out of all the categories available it seems like this might be the best place to post it, so here goes...

Last summer I purchased a used air bed mattress, believing the advertising that these things last longer than conventional mattresses.

You know the kind - if you listen to talk radio you hear advertisements about them all the time. Bed has two air chambers, constructed of rubber overlaid with cloth, that rest in a framework of foam. There's a pump that inflates either side to user's choice of firmness. The air is pumped through a hose about half an inch wide.

Very comfortable, very nice...

...just as long as it doesn't leak.

Well, a bit over a month ago, my side sprang a leak. I spent quite a while just trying to think through my options and figure out what my best approach would be to attempt to fix the thing (I'm second owner, so no warranty), and I finally settled on patching it with a rubber tire patch kit.

It didn't work. The #*@(!! thing still leaks. To be honest, I'm not entirely certain that the place I patched is the only leak. We did find one leak by taking it to the lake with us and submerging it in the lake, but I'm not sure there isn't another.

So now I'm wondering if there's something I can pour inside of it that will adhere to the rubber on the inside, be long-lasting (and flexible enough to last), and provide an airtight seal. I've thought about trying to use fix-a-flat, but I'm afraid that sounds pretty difficult, in light of length of hose, space to cover inside, pressurized can, etc.

Any help would be appreciated. For more than a month now, I've been sleeping downstairs when the in-laws are out of town (about half the time) and on couch cushions on the living room floor when they aren't. Sharing a bed with my wife is getting to be almost a distant memory. Somehow I've got to get my bed back...

 
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04-29-05, 06:52 AM   #2 (permalink)  
john in mo
Well, guess what just happened? I *may* have just found the leak. I decided to take the air chamber out again and fill the space up with blankets and couch cushions as a temporary measure while I come up with what to pour into this baby. So when I was gently pulling the hose off of the pump, guess what happens? THE WHOLE DANG PUMP NOZZLE INTO THE HOSE PULLS RIGHT OFF IN MY HAND!

So now I have one good pump nozzle left out of two. And it may have been that's where the leak was this time, because I certainly thought I did a good job on the patch.

So here's what I'm going to try: I found a conveniently-sized permanent marker to jam down into the hose of the known good air chamber, so I've blown that up and plugged it. I put the hose of the patched chamber onto the good pump nozzle and blew it up (gosh, don't get me started thinking of dynamite here...)

So now I have two inflated air chambers... and we'll see how it goes. I'll try and update later.

In the meantime, any thoughts on a sealer for the inside would still be appreciated, as I have the feeling that even if I've solved the problem, the knowledge might come in handy at some point in the future...

 
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06-01-05, 09:04 AM   #3 (permalink)  
I think it would be difficult to find something to pour inside of a mattess that size. I have always patched my Aero beds with Marine glue from GOOP. It is avalaible at any home store, Walmart etc.. I don't use any patch just the glue. As to fid the leak. Use a spray bottle with soap and water and spray along the seams to start and work you way until you cover the whole mattress. The water will bubble once you find a leak. Mark it with a marker. Once you have found all your leaks, deflate the mattress and apply the glue over the holes. Put a good amount about 1/16th" of glue. Let dry 48 hours then inflate. Spray patched areas with water and soap solution, if still leaking deflate and apply more glue.

 
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06-01-05, 09:16 AM   #4 (permalink)  
john in mo
Thanks for the reply, very timely actually.

Here's the story so far:

I tried sleeping on it, it still leaked. So then I took it out and put a bunch of blankets in the cavity to make a platform I could sleep on for a while. Not ideal, but at least I'm back in the same room with my wife.

Then I thought, what if the leak was in the pump end? So I aired it up, plugged the hose and took it downstairs. Where it held air perfectly for the last several weeks. So I thought, that was it.

Last night I put it on top of the bed and tried sleeping on it again. This morning it's partially deflated. So now I know the leak happens only under pressure now.

Anyway, many thanks for the advice. I'll look for the glue you mentioned!

 
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06-01-05, 09:58 AM   #5 (permalink)  
So, you're sleeping on this mattress every day, in place of a regular mattress? Can I ask why? Is it a matter of cost for a regular mattress? I just don't think that those things are intended for everyday useage!

Can I suggest that you consider a futon mattress? They're less expensive than most conventional mattresses (but, be sure you purchase a quality one), and really quite comfortable. My husband and I slept on one for years, very happily! We've only recently splurged and purchased a Euro-top mattress. It's absolutely luxurious...

 
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06-01-05, 12:20 PM   #6 (permalink)  
Maybe the there is not a leak but the pastic the mattress is made of is streching when you sleep on it and it seems like there is a leak.

 
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06-01-05, 02:04 PM   #7 (permalink)  
john in mo
Guys... I think you didn't read my earlier posts...

See also Comfortaire.com, or SelectComfort.com...

...and believe me, it leaks.

 
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06-02-05, 11:00 AM   #8 (permalink)  
I did read your earlier posts, but obviously I'm missing something! So, never mind

 
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06-02-05, 02:10 PM   #9 (permalink)  
john in mo
You had said:

So, you're sleeping on this mattress every day, in place of a regular mattress? Can I ask why? Is it a matter of cost for a regular mattress? I just don't think that those things are intended for everyday useage!
This is a mattress designed for everyday, long-term use. It consists of two adjustable chambers filled with air, surrounded by a foam framework and topped by layers of foam and other padding. It looks like a regular mattress. It's like the "select comfort sleep-numbered bed," except there's no numbers and it's made by a different manufacturer. As far as I'm aware, if you buy one new it's more expensive, not less expensive, than a regular mattress. And it's supposed to last for 25 years.

 
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06-23-05, 01:17 PM   #10 (permalink)  
i think there's been some confusion because you posted your question in the Outdoor Living topic, which has led to thinking that you're sleeping on an inflatable mattress meant for camping. so, to further clear things up, i'm moving this to Home Furnishings, where there have been other posts regarding conventional spring mattresses in the past. there's a member named SlickShift who, i believe, used to be in the bedding business (?). maybe he or someone else can help..........

i would suggest you contact the manufacturer of your bed and ask them what you should do. or, if you can't get a hold of them, contact the Comfortaire or SelectComfort people and ask them what they suggest to remedy leaks in their airbeds.

 
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06-23-05, 01:52 PM   #11 (permalink)  
i don't know how similar your bed is to the Comfortaire bed, but here's what they say on their website to do if a leak is suspected:

Q. What if I think my bed is leaking air?
A. If your bed appears to be leaking, fill it to full capacity. Clip
the hose next to the pump and plug hoses. Let the mattress
sit overnight. (This will determine if you have a leak and
whether it is in the pump or the bed itself.) If you discover
the source of the leak, call our customer service department
at 1-800-759-0594.
but of course, your best bet would be to contact the company that made YOUR bed and talk to them. just because you're the 2nd owner and it's no longer under warranty, isn't any reason for them to not try to help you.

 
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06-23-05, 02:03 PM   #12 (permalink)  
Those type of mattresses are designed for full time use
They are a little on the pricey side
Unfortunately they also tend to leak

They are meant to be hooked up to the pump full time (adjustable comfort)
They leak in three areas

On the surface of the (air) bladder
This is usually a rip, tear, or hole, caused by the consumer (or their dog or kitty etc.)
If you find on of these it may be possible to repair it wth a patch kit
It really depends on the bladder construction and the repair kit quality as to how long it holds
I have made a decent repair with a quality waterbed repair kit
You want to deflat and flatten it out
Let the patch set as long as possible (overnight if poss.)
Then cut a bigger patch to patch the patch
Let that set for as long as possible

The seams
This one is usually a manufacturing defect, or at least sub standard manufacturing
Although a bouncing child can blow out seams pretty quickly
The only thing that might work on the seams is the glue from the kits I mentioned
It depends on how it was manufactured
Deflate, goob on the glue and let it set
The seams are stress points and repairing them often doesn't work
Worth a try though

At the pump
The most common leak is either at the pump connection or the pump itself
The connection can sometimes be fixed with a hose clamp (or often cutting the hose down a bit, past a split, then clamping the "fresh" hose on)
The pump itself cannot really be repaired
It is an internal leak of the valves
A hard to find leak is often the pump itself
There really is no fix for this
Pump replacement was the only fix the manufacturers had
Contacting the manufacturer may be the best course of action
Or looking for a used airbed to use the pump off it
There is a chance the pumps may be compatable, or can be made compatable

Just so you know, the manufacturers and models differ greatly in their bladders
If you find an airbed bladder for sale on e-bay, unless it's the same manufacturer, and possibly model, there is little chance it will fit

Does this mattress have 1 pump or 2 separate pumps?
If it has 1, and both side deflate, it's probably not the pump, but still could be in the valves

I'm not really sure by the thread if the leak was ever positively ID'ed
I hope this helps

 
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06-23-05, 02:06 PM   #13 (permalink)  
I can't seem to "quote" Annette's "quote"
lol
But that's a good way to help determine the source of the leak

 
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07-01-05, 02:34 PM   #14 (permalink)  
sandieluvsbears
Help Im desparate,leaking Air Mattress

Thanks for the info about the "GOOP" to patch an aero bed, I have been searching for about 2 hours and finally came here, quite by accident!! We have been sleeping on an aerobed, while having alot of repairs done in our home, so had to take our bed apart, last night we woke up to find the mattress had deflated half way, pushed the remote to inflate and 15 min later it was again deflating!! My husband used the repair kit, and ALL the glue,the first patch didnt work, so he did it a 2nd time, mind you this is at 2 am, and neither one of us were happy, by than. I still have a patch left, and gonna attempt myself, but had no idea what to get for glue, I thought of super glue, but was hesitant on using it. Im off to Walmart or Home depot to get the suggested glue, just had to say THANKS, hope this works or we'll be on the floor in sleeping bags, and that just doesnt sound inviting to me..
Sandie

 
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08-10-05, 08:36 PM   #15 (permalink)  
tlje0205
Air Mattress Leaking

Hi I have a air mattress that is vevlour on the sides and we've found our hole to be in it. Does anyone know of a way patch this and it work?

 
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01-19-07, 07:10 PM   #16 (permalink)  
Velour Air Mattress Seam Leak

I have the same situation... velour on my mattress, and the leak is in a seam. I used soap water and found it. Then I used low-melt hot glue initially and it helped, but it still leaked just a tiniest bit. Now I'm planning to try the goop, but I wonder if it will work on velour. I'll probably use more of the low melt hot glue again, just to see what happens until I can get the GOOP. I'm just not sure with the velour side having the leak in it. This time I'll make sure the mattress if FLAT and there's no pressure on it. I wish all of you luck, too.

 
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09-20-07, 11:22 AM   #17 (permalink)  
Try this thread...

I'm having similar problems with an air matress.

So i'm going to try one of these products out this weekend.. so i'lll let you know how it works out.

http://www.airmattressinfo.com/airmattresspatchkit.html

Dar

 
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12-24-07, 09:37 PM   #18 (permalink)  
Air Matress Repair

I successfully repaired a 1/4 inch cut in the seem of the velour side of my air matress. I swabbed the area about 3 inches in diameter with rubbing alcohol and used a blow drier to dry it completely. Then I applied crazy glue to the area about the diameter of a quarter. I let this dry and applied a second layer of crazy glue. Then I mixed up some Devcon two part epoxy that I bought at Wal Mart and applied this to the area a little larger than the crazy glue and let it dry. It isn't the prettiest repair but it is holding well.

The crazy glue seals the leak and sticks to the velour and makes a good surface for the two part epoxy to adhear to.

Hope this helps.

 
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09-07-09, 11:26 AM   #19 (permalink)  
Posted By: john in mo Last summer I purchased a used air bed mattress, believing the advertising that these things last longer than conventional mattresses...Somehow I've got to get my bed back...
When desperate, drive to Target or your local department score and get a Colman queen air mattress for under $60.

That's the price of a economy hotel room and it'll last for a month or 2. That's a SELECT COMFORT style night of rest for 60 days. My next one will have the pump built in and a 2 year guarantee for $120 or so.

That will do me fine.

 
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11-14-09, 11:32 AM   #20 (permalink)  
The reason people sleep on air mattresses is that mattress does not hurt the back and hips. I have one also and it is better than any futon or conventional mattress. I used to have to share a bed and it was awful. It hurt so bad to sleep. That all changed when I bought the air mattress. I have not slept so well in years. I will never go back to a conventional mattress. Cost really has nothing to do with it.

 
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02-07-10, 09:13 PM   #21 (permalink)  
Posted By: CarlyFC I did read your earlier posts, but obviously I'm missing something! So, never mind
No one seems to have answered your original question as to why sleep on an air mattress instead of a bed.

It's incredibly comfortable, especially for a bad back. Mine lasted a good 5 months before springing a leak which is why I was reading this posting.

 
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07-17-11, 04:38 PM   #22 (permalink)  
Chamber Leak

I bought an air matress that I spent $300 for, I can not return it as it has been over a year. I love the bed but the leak is one of the chambers I was wondering if there is a product maybe simular to fix a flat tha I can put into the bed.. Any suggestions would be helpful.

Thanks,
Robert


Last edited by Gunguy45; 07-17-11 at 04:43 PM. Reason: Removed Email for your protection from SPAM...also not allowed per Rules of Use.
 
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07-17-11, 04:46 PM   #23 (permalink)  
No...nothing like fix a flat. The suggestions in prior posts here are pretty complete.


Vic
"I sometimes wonder how some people ever made it to adulthood..."

 
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12-24-11, 04:03 PM   #24 (permalink)  
My .02

Select Comfort recommends the following for troubleshooting suspected air chamber leaks. I don't work for them and in no way am compensated by them. I just have worked with the beds ALOT ("owned" not quite a dozen so far).

This may be long but hopefully worth reading to someone.

Get the little white caps that go on the air chamber inlet valve (not sure if that is the correct term for it) at a local SC store (local mall?). They should give them to you in a two-pack (not Tupac ;-) ) FOR FREE but you have to ASK the staff for them. Inflate the suspected leaking chamber to capacity (100 on the numbered controllers, use your judgement using the non-numbered controllers), cap it and wait over night. If it still deflates, call them to replace the chamber for a prorated price IF it is still under warranty OR to purchase a replacement chamber from SC (current approx cost = $150 to $200 EACH, or on Ebay for approx $60 - $75).

If the chamber does NOT deflate overnight the problem may be the pump. Call SC to replace the pump for a prorated price IF it is still under warranty OR to purchase a replacement pump (current approx cost = $300 EACH, or on Ebay for approx $100).

Speaking of Ebay, about 1 1/2 ago years there was a guy on Ebay that was selling info as to how to fix a leaking SC/SN bed which I bought for $10 or $20. I agreed to not publish/sell the info myself as part of the purchase; however, it looks like he is no longer selling the info. I will look for my copy, contact him if possible and post here. His take on it all was that most likely the pump and air chamber rarely are the issue as much as the HOSE & CONNECTIONS. He recommended the troubleshooting in this post above. Then he had developed plans to essentially reconfigure the hose angles by cutting the hose and placing some hose connector angles in the hose line. This was supplemented by using a kind of aquarium sealer you can find at Home Depot or Wally-world to seal the hose connections, ALL of them. He also detailed how to install a type of quick-connect connection similar to that used on an air compressor one might use in the garage working on the car with air tools. EVERYTHING he suggested as far as supplies he said (and I confirmed myself) could be purchased at the local big box home improvement store (or local hardware store?). I did it all the way he explained and it worked on one chamber; tried it out on another chamber then found out the air chamber was really the problem and I didn't have time to fix it (long story).

All this to say, leak problems with these types of beds are NOT just either the pump or the air chamber; the hoses and connections can also be the problem. Even more so on the models with the adjustable foundations/bases where there is repeated stress on these components as the head end of the bed (where the hose connects to the air chamber) is raised and lowered on a regular basis. (Yeah, go ahead, I DARE you to ask me how I know this!! :NO NO NO: )

Hope this helps someone, just my experience so far.

I DO like the suggestions others have made about repairing leaks in the air chamber with crazy glue, goop, etc. I have seen these work - sort of like repairing a bike tire tube. LOL

Now if I can just figure out how to make the LCD display in the controllers display the numbers again. Shazam!

By the way, when these beds work as designed, I believe they are the BOMB.

Thanks for reading.

 
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01-21-12, 11:22 AM   #25 (permalink)  
Similar air leaks

We got our Spring Air King size bed second hand, so no warranty or any info about where they got it. One side has leaked for several years. It seemed to be leaking near where the pump attaches and the material seemed to be the same stuff that our waterbeds were made of. Nothing stuck, very well, to the surfaces. So I used Silicon glue, which sticks to everything. I put it inside the mattress, through the opening. What a mess. It did not lay neatly and I've since had to try to cut it out of the opening to get the pump more deeply inserted and sealed. But the valve in the pump seems to be what is doing most of the leaking and I'm a little resistant to buy a new pump (if I could find one, don't get me started) at a cost that would likely rival our monthly tithe for 2-3 months. So, yes, I'm cheap. Our first Sears heavy duty washing machine lasted over 25 years with 10 children. Always fixable.
The mattress does hold air for a day or so if I fill it and then cap it with a plug and cap from the waterbed in the guest room. I'm thinking of getting an extra waterbed plug and screw-on cap and attaching a hose like is used in an aquarium or larger. Attaching will be a small trick. Then I'll run the hose out where the cover zips together or where the power chords, etc. go in. Then I'll attach a ball valve between the pump and hose, maybe in another room, even. It's noisy to refill during the night. But if it works without leaks, I won't need to do it during the night.
But here is my question: does anybody know of something that can be applied to the valve that is in my current pump to make it seal better? That would be the best fix because that is really all that is wrong with it. I just had it apart and I think it is a softer plastic, like a hard foam rubber. I can see it looking back through the throat of the pump. Maybe somebody knows where I could get such a part. Thank you. Dan

 
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03-01-12, 12:43 PM   #26 (permalink)  
Fix that Air Bladder

We have had our AirBed for over 14 years now. We have had to replace the bladders once. In the meantime, when one starts to leak, we fill it to capacity, take it out, use soapy water in a spray
bottle to find the leak, and when found we put an ample amount of Silicone on it. (During the
warmer months, we will submerge the bladder in our Hot Tub. This is a VERY effective way to find leaks if you have access to one.) This has kept our air bladders going for quite some time.
When waiting for the silicone to cure, we just replace the bladder with a basic twin air mattress. We actually slept on one for a little over 2 months one time when we didn't have the time to fix the bladder. New bladders run about $220 now, so fixing is the key.
Hope this helps.

 
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08-31-12, 10:08 AM   #27 (permalink)  
Put a valve in the air line

Should be easy to buy a valve and install in the line going from the pump to air chamber.Just open valve when inflating and close after inflating.That would avoid the cost of a new pump,if it has internal leaks.

 
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06-03-14, 08:29 AM   #28 (permalink)  
ToobSealŪ Interior Repair Sealant for Inflatable Boats and Rafts

This is what you all are needing.

 
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06-27-14, 08:34 AM   #29 (permalink)  
In an earlier post someone mentioned fixing an air leak with fix a flat. I did try that it did not work also it left a toxic smell it left in my mattress

 
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